It’s Friday night and you have are hosting an impromptu dinner date. You have a lovely bottle of white wine that you are eager to open… but oh no, it’s not cold! You don’t have time to wait for it to chill in your fridge, so what should you do? Luckily we’ve put together a list of the fastest wine chilling techniques so you never have to worry about that bottle you forgot to put in the fridge.
Tips to Chill Wine Fast
Here are some tips for cooling down your wine as quickly as possible (and getting on with your date and your drinking!).
Tip 1: Put the bottle in ice water
This is perhaps the best way to chill a bottle of wine. Stick it in a bucket of ice water. This doesn’t mean a bucket of ice, rather a combination of ice AND water. If you only use ice, less of the surface area of the bottle will come in contact with the cold. By using both ice and water, it allows the bottle to actually become submerged.
Tip 2: Swirl the bottle
While the bottle is in the icy water, spin it around every few minutes. By swirling the bottle, you are moving the liquid contents inside and more of the wine is coming in contact with the cold glass.
Tip 3: Add salt
Salt actually reduces the freezing point of water, so adding salt to your ice water mix can also speed up the cooling process.
Tip 4: Wrap the bottle in a gel sleeve
Don’t have a bucket (or ice) handy? Try wrapping you wine in a gel sleeve (you know, the kind you keep around in your freezer for sprained ankles etc.) and then put the wrapped bottle in the freezer. The gel sleeve holds in the coldness and allows the entire surface area of the bottle to chill. If you don’t have a gel sleeve, a wet towel can also do the trick.
Tip 5: Chill a little bit at a time
A smaller amount of wine will chill faster than the entire bottle. If you simply can’t wait for the first glass of that special bottle, you can pour a solo glass of wine and stick that glass in the fridge or freezer. Check out these really cool individual glass Wine Chill Drops by Skybar.
Tip 6: Keep a decanter or wine bucket in the freezer
In a jam, you can transfer the wine from the lukewarm bottle into the frozen container and it will cool down more quickly.
There are a number of products available to assist in cooling a bottle of wine and in keeping it chilled after it has been opened. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Wine Chilling Tools To Help Chill Your Wine Fast
These “bottle icicles” are hot on the market right now. There are a number of similar options, but the Corksicle is one of the best sellers with some of the highest ratings and most positive customer reviews. It is made from BPA free plastic and non-toxic freeze gel and serves to cool the liquid inside the bottle instead of cooling the bottle itself (and thus the wine). You stick the Corksicle in the freezer (*for at least 90 minutes prior to use) and then put it into the wine bottle. The product description claims that the Corksicle will “keep your white wines chilled and bring your room temperature reds down to a more suitable ‘cellar’ temperature.” It is compact, reusable and actually serves as a cork too, so you can keep your bottle stopped after you’ve opened it.
These nifty little sleeves (which come in a variety of colors and designs) are meant to be stored in the freezer (like a reusable ice pack) and then slipped over the wine bottle to aid with the chilling process. Directions state that you just put your wine in the sleeve and in a mere 5 minutes, it will cool the bottle. According to customer reviews, this 5 minute claim is a bit ambitious, but the general consensus is that it does in fact manage to chill the wine in 10-15 minutes. The product also can double as an ice bucket to keep the wine cool on the dinner table.
This stainless steel wine chiller with freezer inserts keeps your wine cool without condensation on the bottle. You just remove the freezer inserts, stick them in the fridge or freezer and when they reach the desired temperature, replace them in the wine chiller. Then simply stick the wine in the centerpiece. The freezer inserts are very compact, so they don’t take up much freezer space. The bucket itself has a sleek and classy look and is an unobtrusive addition to the dinner table.
I don’t know about you, but I hate scooping ice with a pair of tongs. At best, you can hope to grab a few cubes at a time and it is horribly inefficient. The Oggi Double Wall Ice Bucket comes with a stainless steel ice scoop (much better than tongs!) and a flip-top lid, which makes for easy filling.